The International Standard ISO 26000:2010, Guidance on social responsibility, provides harmonized, globally relevant guidance for private and public sector organizations of all types based on international consensus among expert representatives of the main stakeholder groups, and so encourage the implementation of best practice in social responsibility worldwide.

ISO 26000 both adds value to existing work on social responsibility (SR) and extends the understanding and implementation of SR by:

     *   Developing an international consensus on what SR means and the SR issues that organizations need to address
     *   Providing guidance on translating principles into effective actions
     *    Refining best practices that have already evolved and disseminating the information worldwide for the good of the international community.

Importance of Social Responsibility:

     *   Sustainable business for organizations means not only providing products and services that satisfy the customer, and doing so without jeopardizing the environment, but also operating in a socially responsible manner.
     *    Pressure to do so comes from customers, consumers, governments, associations and the public at large. At the same time, far-sighted organizational leaders recognize that lasting success must be built on credible business practices and the prevention of such activities as fraudulent accounting and labour exploitation.
     *    On the one hand, there has been a number of high-level declarations of principle related to SR and, on the other, there are many individual SR programmes and initiatives. The challenge is how to put the principles into practice and how to implement SR effectively and efficiently when even the understanding of what “social responsibility” means may vary from one programme to another. In addition, previous initiatives have tended to focus on “corporate social responsibility”, while ISO 26000 will provide SR guidance not only for business organizations, but also for public sector organizations of all types.